The famed director of the MoMA Department of Photography, John Szarkowski articulated five attributes, including the vantage point that made photography an art form. He cites:
- The thing itself inseparably ties photography to reality. It is always “of something.”
- The detail emphasizes the inherent nature of photography in capturing a selected detail of an event rather than the event itself. I likened this to lifting a leaf from a stream of water in a related post.
- The frame is what photography imposes on reality by choosing one from literally infinite number of frames. It is the analytic nature of photography.
- The time refers to the short or the long span during the creation of a photograph. Consequently, it may represent a frozen in amber moment that freezes time, or fuzzy, blurry images which compresses time. It is for a moment about the present but in an instant it becomes about the past.
- The vantage point can generally range from bird’s eye views to worm’s eye views, changing our perception of the captured moment as the content changes.
Vantage Point Rules Here
Although we are all implicitly or explicitly concerned with all of the above, some photographers find a unique approach to combine the above attributes that may be hard to replicate. Andrius Burba decided to go to great depths to present views of our beloved animal friends, unlike many others we have seen.
I stumbled on his work by coincidence as I visited the My Modern Met Web site. There I saw dogs photographed from below, many of them. They looked a good deal different from thousands of dog photographs not only because they were photographed from a very different vantage point, but also because they seemed to be aware of this unusual encounter.
After that, I started searching for a Web site to see more of his work and eventually landed on UnderLook. Under-Dogs led to Under-Cats, then came Under-Horse. What a treat it was to see not only dogs and cats, but also horses, rabbits, and even bicycles. I wanted to bring his work and his site to your attention and asked for permission to use some sample photographs in this post. Andrius was kind enough to reply, permitting me to use samples from his collection. Enjoy the few below. But, make sure to visit the site as there are many more photographs, and also videos showing how they photograph the animals, even going underground.
Thank you UnderLook, Andrius, and the team for your work. Highly enjoyable
(All photographs are published with the written permission of Andrius Burba.)